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In My Merry Oldsmobile

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In My Merry Oldsmobile

Published 1932

Surprisingly licentious advertising cartoon produced by the Fleischer brothers.

Run time 6:28
Producer Fleischer Studios
Sponsor Oldsmobile Motor Company
Audio/Visual Sd, B&W


Ken Smith sez: This Fleischer Studios sing-along cartoon contains a surprising amount of immodest imagery. Lovely "Lucille" is menaced by a mustachioed villain/voyeur but then is rescued by her pint-sized true love. Since both suitors own Oldsmobiles, there doesn't seem to be much of a point. Watch for the candy cane-licking sequence. "You can go as far as you like with me in my merry Oldsmobile...."



Reviewer: indianacarnie - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - April 18, 2014
Subject: Excellent!
For all the reasons mentioned before by others. A very well preserved bit of film too. Outstanding!
Reviewer: tribtower - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - July 12, 2013
Subject: Tough guys and gals.
A pre-code cartoon from the Fleischers. It sure
ain't Mickey Mouse. Like Mae West who made an industry of the good old days -the 1890's were the
1930's nostalgia decade. These cartoons reflected the tough persona of the LOST GENERATION. Amusing
vulgarity and fun this generation was raised in Vaudeville and new how to put on a show and gave us some of the greatest Movie Stars and Comedians
even and even in their precode less censored state knew how to create good dialog without using the F word every 5 seconds .The Fleischers made pacey cartoons and were really the greatest around until the Warner factory came along. Always look for the opening and closing
doors for the greatest Fleischer and Popeye Cartoons. Really great creators who've NEVER got the credit they deserve!!
Reviewer: muhammadika - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - May 4, 2012
Subject: wonderful cartoon
i love everything that is simple and original. this one certainly is.
Reviewer: The_Emperor_Of_Television - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - March 20, 2012
Subject: Pre-Code fun
Delightful cartoon from before the "production code" was put into practice.

Highly recommended.
Reviewer: JayKay49 - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - February 22, 2012
Subject: Follow The Bouncing Ball
I'm another one that got the tail end of those cartoons where you follow the bouncing ball and I must say, it was the greatest invention between that of the internal combustion engine and the subsequent invention of insulin.

One can definitely see the precursors to Popeye and his associated characters (especially Bluto and Wimpy) in this cartoon which predates Popeye by about 4 or 5 years.

If you listened carefully to what Popeye muttered under is breath in those cartoons, there was some rather adult - level comments the stuff in this cartoon is not suprising.
Reviewer: kevcom2001 - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - August 15, 2010
Subject: marinetti + his futurists and picabia and duchamp
"Queen of my gas machine" is the picabia title that got away...

marinetti equated automobiles with sex at the dawn of the petroleum age. he was a kook.
the fleischers were late here.

duchamp's large glass explains it all for you.
google it.
Reviewer: rtl671 - favoritefavoritefavorite - January 13, 2010
Subject: Enjoyed it
I wish today's ads were comparable. Reminds me of the relationship dynamic of Olive Oyl and Brutus.
Reviewer: Graham W - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - December 17, 2009
Subject: Great Early Fleischer, Most Enjoyable.
What a great cartoon, even if it is early Fleischer and lacks a tiny bit of finesse (as others have pointed out). (Anyway, two years later with 'Betty Boop's Rise to Fame' he was pretty much a master of the art, also in 1934 with 'Poor Cinderella' he'd become just about unassailable. (For a long time I've thought Max Fleischer was a better animator than that other guy whose name begins with 'D', perhaps if he'd had a better accountant then things might have been reversed today. Think of it, oh woe--we might have been spared decades of that syrupy drivel.

And as for the risqué bits, you'll only notice them if you have a mind like mine (which I'm sure most of you don't). ;-) As 'In My Merry Oldsmobile' was released only two years after the Hayes Commission, presumably the precious darlings failed to see anything untoward.

Oh, and I don't mind the sing along bit, and the tune is catchy too. I agree with Arensky, it's pretty darn good.
Reviewer: Instep - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - August 26, 2007
Subject: The Womens Movement
This short was made during the women’s movement, and aside of the lurid content, the early deco cartoon art style, and catchy "bouncing ball" sing along cartoons, this short seems to be a production of early PR. Along side of the PR stunt to get women smoking (Women marching at the Easter Day parade were given cigarettes, calling them "torches of freedom" to get women’s independence connected to a product.) This cartoon was created to connect driving to women’s independence, alongside the other affects of this film.
Reviewer: ERD. - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - June 23, 2007
Subject: Lots of fun
Campy, but funny. Still entertaining.
Reviewer: FrumpyBB - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - June 10, 2007
Subject: I could watch this for hours...
A great little thing! This song is a tear-jerker and an earcatcher for the rest of the day!
I adore this film!!!!
Reviewer: Jerchower - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - June 25, 2006
Subject: Nifty piece.
What struck me is how Lucille looks and sounds like Marge Simpson. I wonder what Groening would say?

Otherwise, a great archival bit of animation, not yet with the flashiness of later Fleisher and Famous singalongs, but the camp and even good fun is there.
Reviewer: uniQ - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - May 28, 2005
Subject: One thing after another!
If you like Popeye and such like cartoons, here's the one you've (probably) never seen before. Has every gag running and the cumulative effect it HILARIOUS! WELL worth the download even if you're not old enough to know what an Oldsmobile is (Well, maybe not THAT young)!

Reviewer: jersey1657 - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - March 10, 2005
Subject: The lips and words do match
I'd heard about this film but only as a promo done by Billy Murray. I hadn't known about the rest of it. It may be licentious but I do think the lady does quite a job of protecting her virtue.

Billy Murray does the bouncing ball sequence. His career in recording lasted until 1943 when he had to retire due to heart trouble. He'd recorded the song "In My Merry Oldmobile" in 1905.
Reviewer: Arensky - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - February 10, 2005
Subject: Wonderful
I, too, remember the tail end of the "Bouncing Ball" cartoons. By the 40's, however, the Fleishers were no longer making them, their outfit having been sold to Famous Studios which released through Paramount. The later "Bouncing Balls," under the new banner, were a lot tamer than this one. Even though it is much older, In My Merry Oldsmobile is much better. It has some life in it and is not just a mere sing-along. I would say the kids of 1932 easily missed most of the innuendos and double meanings, but I bet their parents didn't. :-)

Reviewer: Jog - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - June 19, 2004
Subject: Let's all sing!
Men of innovation, the Fleischers had been creating short 'follow the bouncing ball' sing-along films since the mid-1920's, and the series would continue until 1938, well after Betty Boop and Popeye had become screen superstars. It seems natural that you'd go to such a source of creativity for some effective advertising production, but perhaps Olds Motor Works had not quite anticipated the level of zaniness on display here. Rampant voyeurism and suggestive candy consumption are the order of the day, aided and abetted by the Fleischer system of ad-libbing. Note that most of the dialogue in the early portion of the film is spoken without the characters' lips moving. That's because the voices were recorded AFTER the animation was completed, and improvisation was encouraged (Jack Mercer was a master of this style as Popeye). The Fleischer cartoons hold up very well today; the styles would change, but energy was uniform throughout their studio's work, and their enthusiasm is easy to sense.
Reviewer: dougd52 - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - February 15, 2004
Subject: How Merry?
What a hoot this was to see! Never saw an ad like this one before, this is fun! Ok, a little suggestive, but no bare breast showing! Too bad the auto maker did not outlive the cartoon
Reviewer: Kieran Kenney - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - February 12, 2004
Subject: You WILL submit to my sexual desires, you silly cartoon woman!
The makers of the wonderfully strange Betty Boop cartoons, the Fleischer brothers, bring us this even weirder Merrie Mellodie piece. Gotta love then the mustacheoed villain pulls out a stick of pepperment and the girl keeps licking it. Phallic images, sexual tension, voyeurism, talking pictures and women who wear layers upon layers (upon layers upon even more layers) of clothes. Only the Fleischers could bring it together and put it in one movie, and do it in under ten minutes, AND make it work. A brilliant movie, uproarious and sexually provocative (if not sexy).
Reviewer: JimNFla - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - January 11, 2004
Subject: My Merry Oldsmobile
I loved this movie and admired it's great animation qualities. I am old enough just to remember the last of the "bouncing ball" "cartoons" and this one brought back memories; the bouncing ball technique brought an audience together in song.
My Merry Oldsmobile song was also put on children's records in the middle-late 1950's so the song lived on, at least for awhile.
Reviewer: Spuzz - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - August 18, 2003
Subject: More fun from the Fleischers!
I love the Fleischers early cartoons, full of ribaldity and pure fun that can't be matched in today's cartoons. Plus, there's a feeling of improvisiation not only in the animation, but also the voice overs. In this very simple promotional spot, a very bad man snoops on a woman changing, and her boyfriend takes offense. Full of many side gags, great dialogue ("A Pippin!) and a fun sing a long at the end. This is one of the more popular downloads on the site.. and why not? This is a must see!
Reviewer: poppers - favorite - July 6, 2003
Subject: oooooh kaaay??!!!
This was really weird! Even for that era.And they worry about kids today? I do remember my mom singing the jingle.
Reviewer: Phen - favoritefavoritefavorite - June 3, 2003
Subject: Hey! My Oldmobile Doesn't Have a Bouncing Ball!
I don't see what all the hubub is about. Many of the Popeye and Merrie Melodies cartoons were more sexual than that. Except for the candy cane bit. But I think that was a bit too ambigious to label as anywhere near suggestive. I never cared for that song, which I'm sure takes away from a lot of the fun, since they sing the entire thing twice.
Reviewer: Lewis Payne - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - March 1, 2003
Subject: 30's Karaoke
This animated short for Oldsmobile is incredibly weird and absolutely hilarious. It's full of amazingly ribald humour, which I bet got the Olds execs pretty nervous about releasing it. A classic piece of 30's animation.
Reviewer: battra92 - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - January 8, 2003
Subject: Vintage Fleischer!
One of Max and Dave Fleischer's cartoons from 1931. This was only a year after they introduced the world to Betty Boop, and this cartoon is not surprisingly almost identical to that style of animation and humor used in that series at that time. The villian is apparently played by Gus Wickie, best known for his role as Bluto, but he appeared regularly as a voice in Fleischer cartoons. Definatly a must see for any fan of animation.
Reviewer: op712 - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - January 5, 2003
Excellent animated short from the famous Max Fleicher cartoon studios. How many times, as we were young, singing this song when we went with our parents and grandparents, who had Oldsmobiles. This song is a classic song that belongs with the classic Oldsmobile, in as well as of the other songs that were composed for the cars under the General Motors banner. The cartoon characters were the pre-ideas of the Fleicher famous studios of Popeye, Olive Oyl and Brutus. In an technical sense, there was a scene that contains a Max Fleicher invention called muli-plane animation-being on the road with the tree line going by. A great tribute to the early days of advertising and animation.
Reviewer: Christine Hennig - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - October 6, 2002
Subject: In My Merry Oldsmobile
General Motors had the Max Fleischer studio make this cartoon to promote the Oldsmobile, but they were probably none too happy with the result. This cartoon is weird, man. A peeping tom spies on an Olive Oyl-type woman (he's foiled by the fact that she's wearing at least 10 other dresses under her outer dress), then breaks into her apartment and tries to get her to take a ride with him in his merry Oldsmobile. The second verse of the song, where the woman turns him down in no uncertain terms, is priceless. Eventually, our hero (who looks a bit like Egghead) arrives and saves the day. Then we get to sing along with the song, following the bouncing ball. One of the weirdest promotional shorts ever made.
Ratings: Camp/Humor Value: ****. Weirdness: *****. Historical Interest: ***. Overall Rating: ****.
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